Signs

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A sign permit is required when any new sign is proposed, except for those temporary or exempt signs as noted below. Signs are regulated by Bellevue City Code 22B.10

To avoid unnecessary preparation or review, please speak with a land use planner before submitting your sign application. Visit our sign permit page for additional information.

Exemptions

The following signs do not require a permit:

  • Flags of government or noncommercial institutions such as schools
  • Corporate flags
  • Sandwich board signs worn by a person while walking the public ways of the city
  • Seasonal decorations within the appropriate public holiday season
  • Reasonable temporary decorations and signs for the purpose of announcing or promoting a nonprofit-sponsored, school-sponsored or child daycare-center-sponsored community fair, festival, or event, including announcements of enrollment periods

Each property owner is allowed to fly government flags. One corporate flag no more than 15 feet above maximum building height is permitted per business premises. The flag may not exceed 20 square feet in surface area. Additional flags are not allowed.

Garage Sale Signs

These signs are technically not allowed. However, if these signs are installed for an event, they must be removed immediately after the event. Formal complaints will be processed on an individual basis by the Code Compliance team.

Limitations on Commercial Signs

Building mounted and freestanding commercial signs have specific size, setback and height limitations that are based upon the zoning of the property. Refer to Bellevue City Code 22B.10 for details on sign regulations in your particular zone. 

Design Review 

Design review of a sign permit is required when the property is located in any of these zoning areas:

  • Downtown Land Use Districts
  • Community Business and Neighborhood Mixed Use
  • Neighborhood Business 
  • Office Limited Business-Open Space
  • Bel-Red Land Use Districts, except for BR-GC
  • Development in transition areas (to residential)
  • Eastgate Transit Oriented Development

The purpose of design review is to make sure the proposed sign is architecturally compatible with the building and character of the area. Refer to 22B.10.025 for more information on design review regulations for signs.

Temporary Signs

Temporary signs are allowed, but a permit is required before installation. These signs are only permitted on private property and may not be placed in the right of way.

The aggregate area of temporary signs for one property may not exceed 64 square feet maximum, and the area of any single sign may not exceed 32 square feet maximum.

The following are examples of temporary signs:

  • Construction period signage
  • Lease-up/sales period signage
  • Real estate signs
  • Residential land subdivision signs
  • Temporary event signage (signs, posters, banners, strings of lights, clusters of flags, blinking lights, balloons, and searchlights are permitted for a period of one month to announce the opening of a completely new enterprise.)
  • Political signs (These must be removed within seven days after an election.)